and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah. Matthew 1:16 NIV
Advent Chronicles is the first person retelling of the characters in the Christmas story. Other than, the name of Joseph’s father, the Biblical account is silent regarding the parents of Joseph and Mary. With Mary’s sudden pregnancy, we know people talked. Can you imagine the interchange which may have occurred between the parents of the betrothed couple? Let’s listen in.
Joseph’s parents – Jacob and Salome.
Mary’s Parents – Simeon and Mariam
“I thought you said your son was honorable,” Simeon directed his accusation directly toward Joseph’s father, Jacob.
“I expected your daughter to be a virgin, instead of a girl familiar with the streets.” Jacob lashed back.
Both men were hot and their tempers were rising. With clenched fist they moved toward one another, ready to defend the honor of their children, and more importantly, their family name.
“Enough!” shouted Salome in the way that women can shout and still not raise their voice. “We determined beforehand that this will be a civil conversation. We have to arrive on agreed upon response to our predicament.”
“Predicament? That’s what you call what your son did to my daughter?” Miriam could not hold back her hurt nor her judgment for Joseph.
“People will talk, that’s all I am saying. Miriam, you and I have been friends for a long time. We convinced our husbands that Joseph and Mary would be happy together. We both know what our children have told us. I believe what you have said about Mary and Joseph had a vision last night.” Salome threw the last line in as a way to continue leading the conversation.
Intrigued, Miriam inquired. “Did an angel come to Joseph as Gabriel did to Mary? As crazy as it sounds, I know my daughter has never been with a man and yet she is pregnant.”
Salome continues, “He told us an angel came to him in a dream and confirmed Mary’s story. He was demanded to take Mary as his wife, but have know relations with her until after the child would be born.”
“I told you my son was honorable. He did not, and would not approach your daughter, Mary, in any way that violates our customs and Ya’s commands.” Jacob interjected.
“Although Mary has a strong personality, I hurt for her as people are pointing and talking. She is not that kind of a girl. Perhaps if we accelerate the marriage there would be less talk?” Simeon asked, looking for some common ground.
“They would both look guilty as if they had messed up and were trying to hide something. We believe they did nothing wrong together. Others will talk. I feel the pain for both of our children. It is not the way to start a marriage.” responded Miriam.
“What if it is true? Messiah? What if our children, in whom we both place our trust, are really telling us the truth? Elizabeth has told us that Zechariah saw an angel and shortly thereafter she became pregnant, although we have not heard it directly from Zechariah.” Simeon chuckled as he thought about Zechariah losing his voice.
Miriam and Salome locked eyes and nodded in agreement. For that moment they both knew deep in their hearts that Ya was moving among their people. They knew the miracle which happened for Elizabeth was real. Peace settled over their hearts.
Then Jacob spoke again, “It is settled. Joseph will take Mary, NOW, into his home which adjoins ours. We can’t stop people from talking, but we can believe and bless our children.”
“It is good we have talked,” Simeon added. “Mary has said it will be a boy. Jacob, you and I will have a grandson.”
The thought of a grandson brought a smile to both of the dads. Simeon and Jacob moved to another part of the house to talk over the particulars of how to make the move happen. Salome and Miriam began to talk about having a small family only gathering to give Mary some semblance of a wedding. There would be food to manage and a service to plan.
After confirming many details regarding the hurried wedding, the moms looked at one another and said in unison, “People will talk!”
Gossip only hurts, it is never life giving. Gossip is like slinging mud, no one leaves clean. Gossip includes comparison with judging. Opinions about others are shared all under the guise of “we are just talking.” Here are a few guidelines to help curb some of the negative gossip.
- Does it bring blessing for the hearer and the person being talked about?
- Why does the information need to be shared? If for prayer, do you actually spend time praying for the person or do you only talk about the situation?
- Can you determine when judging steps into the conversation?
- Are you free to tell the other person, “I don’t need to know this?”
- Finally, Would you still have the same exact dialogue if the person being talked about was in your conversation?
All relationships have some type of brokenness involved. God still loves us and moves in our direction to redeem us and heal our scars. Bless others often. Address what needs to be addressed. And then bless some more. It is the best use of your speech.
Blessings, Love y’all